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The Cosmos in a Tea Bowl: Transmitting a Secret Art across Generations of the Raku Family
Dec 17, 2016 - Feb 12, 2017¥1400
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
In 16th-century Kyoto, Japanese tea master Sen no Rikyu asked Chojiro, a potter, to make tea bowls for use in sacred wabi-style tea ceremonies. The original techniques used to create these chawan tea bowls gave rise to a unique genre of traditional pottery now known as Raku ware. ‘Raku,’ meaning ‘enjoyment,’ ‘comfort,’ or ‘ease,’ was the name given to the family that has produced these tea bowls over the past 15 generations through implementation of the isshisoden method of passing on the secrets of an art form from a father to one of his sons. As a result of this time-honored system, authentic Raku ware works appear as if they were created over hundreds of years by a single artist, though the Raku style has been adopted domestically and internationally by an untold number of potters. Alongside pieces by Honami Koetsu, one of the Raku family’s closest associates, the beauty of Raku ware and its connections with Japan’s spiritual culture are examined in this fascinating display.
Raku Ware Exhibition • Until Feb 12 • Open: 9:30am–5pm • Closed: Mondays (except Jan 9) & Jan 1, 2, 10 • Admission: ¥1400 • Access: Tozai Subway line, Higashiyama Stn, 10-min walk • Tel: 075-761-4111 • www.momak.go.jp/English